Asia

Indonesia theme park censors mermaid statues' breasts

Mermaid statues covered up at Ancol Dreamland theme park in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption The mermaid statues have been at the park for the past 15 years

An Indonesian theme park has covered the bare breasts on two statues to respect "Eastern values".

Ancol Dreamland in the capital city Jakarta placed golden chest wraps on the mermaid figures, which have been at the park for the last 15 years.

The move has confused many in the city and prompted questions about whether the park was forced into the decision.

But the park dismissed the suggestion, saying they had made the choice to cover the statues last year.

"This is purely an agreement from the management and there is no external pressure," park spokeswoman Rika Lestari told the BBC. "We are in the process of reshaping ourselves to be a family friendly amusement park."

The sculptor of the mermaids, Dolorosa Sinaga, told BBC Indonesian the park had denied the public "the beauty of arts products".

"What they did was close public access to enjoy the arts", she said.

Visitors seemed bemused by the decision to cover the mermaids.

"The statues didn't disturb us," Nanda Julinda, who took her children to the park, told the BBC. "It's weird to see art pieces being covered like that."

"It's located by the beach, and they are mermaids, and you wouldn't see mermaid covered with cloth like that," M Taufik Ficky said.

This is not the first time statues have caused moral outrage.

In 2016, Iranians mocked Italy for covering nude statues during the state visit of President Hassan Rouhani, sarcastically thanking them for "saving Islam".

A recently-unveiled owl statue in northern Serbia raised eyebrows for its allegedly phallic shape.

And last year India briefly jailed a man for posting satirical tweets about erotic temple sculptures. He was later pardoned by the Orissa state assembly.

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